By Tenzin Dharpo
Dharamsala, July 9: Two giant hoardings apparently defaming the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama put up outside the Javits Convention Centre, the venue of teachings by the Tibetan leader in New York city, have been taken down after protests from Tibetans.
The images of the hoardings were circulated on social networking sites with appeals to call local politicians and the outdoor advertising company. Many Tibetans have expressed their disappointment over this publicity strategy of the Shugden followers who protest the Tibetan leader wherever he goes.
The actual texts on the billboards though seemed to be a typo as it read, “False Dalai Lama gives religious freedom” as opposed to ‘give us’ in the middle of the phrase.
Collective efforts of Students for a Free Tibet, New York, RTYC New York and other Tibetan organizations lobbied offices of the area’s law makers particularly Congressman Jerry Nadler, Sen. Brad Hoylman and Council member Corey Johnson and also the owner of the hoarding stands Atlantic outdoors Advertising Inc. to remove the giant hoardings.
"Thanks to the grassroots mobilization and timely campaigning by Tibetans and NGOs, we managed to remove the slanderous billboards within a few hours. It was clear that the ad compnay was overwhelmed by hundreds of phone calls and emails within a few hours, and the force of public pressure won the day," said Tenzin Dolkar of SFT, NY.
There is an air of jubilation among several Tibetans and supporters of the Tibetan leader on social networking sites after the hoardings were taken down.
In 2012, a billboard of Finnegan’s beer company showed a doctored image of a blonde haired Dalai Lama alongside a beer bottle labeled “Doing good, now available in Blonde.” The advertisement was subsequently removed followed by an apology from the Finnegan’s CEO Jacquie Berglund.
His Holiness is to give teaching on Kamalashila’s The Middle Stages of Meditation (Gomrim Barpa) and confer White Tara long-life empowerment (Drolkar Tsewang) followed by a long life prayer offering to His Holiness by the North American Tibetan Associations along with participation from the broader American society and the communities from Mongolia, Buryat, Kalmyk and Tuva regions of the Russian Federation, Bhutan and Himalayan regions in India and Nepal today at the Javits Convention Center.